Successful performance management strategies are intrinsically linked to the political environment in which public policy-making occurs. Since the mid-1990s, many governments have re-examined how to simultaneously reduce costs, increase performance and achieve results. Public agencies are experimenting with performance measurement and management systems designed to meet public policy goals and respond to citizen demands. Various reform models have been proposed and public administrators now expend considerable time, effort and resources exchanging 'best practices', finding 'best value', and 'rethinking' government operations. Although equally important, less effort has been devoted to performance management (PM) within increasingly complex, ideologically charged and politicized decision-making environments. Despite significant increases in productivity, more theoretical and empirical research is needed to assist public managers in applying private market-based alternatives to public service delivery structures. This article compares the PM initiatives of the Clinton-Gore Administration in the United States, known as the National Performance Review (NPR), with President Bush's Presidential Management Agenda (PMA). Following the comparison, a theory-based research agenda is proposed to determine which of many approaches best 'fits' the varied and often contradictory systems for delivering public services in a decentralized governance system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration